December 30, 2012, Calgary, AB.,(ISN) – A Braiden Epp tip-in in the final minute of the third period earned the Cariboo Cougars a tie against the Prince Albert Mintos to remain undefeated in round-robin play at the Mac’s Midget Tournament.
The Cats fell down a goal in the first as the Mintos scored on a 5-on-3 advantage with just under three minutes left. It was a theme throughout the game as the Cats got into serious penalty troubles.
Liam Blackburn tied the game at one six minutes into the second on a feed from Logan Styler. But the Mintos re-took the lead just 90 seconds later with another power play goal. Epp scored his first of the game a minute and a half later to tie the game at two. But with 7:26 left in the middle frame the Mintos re-established their one-goal lead which they took into the third.
Prince Albert added their third power play goal of the game just 30 seconds into the final period to go up 4-2. Blackburn scored his second of the game midway through the frame off a beautiful feed from Epp to come to within one. Head coach Trevor Sprague used his timeout with 1:07 left and pulled Nathan Warren for the extra attacker with an offensive zone faceoff. Blackburn won the draw and with 40 seconds left Epp got the Cats back to even terms and salvaged a crucial point heading into Sunday’s final round-robin matchup with the Edmonton SSAC Athletics.
Despite the official shots reading only 25-17 in favour of the Mintos, Warren was stellar in net for the Cats withstanding incredible power play pressure from Prince Albert in the first period to keep the Cougars in the game.
Blackburn was named the player of the game for the Cats factoring in on all four goals with two goals and two assists. Epp had a three point night while Styler had a pair of helpers.
After the Winnipeg Wild tied the Calgary Northstars Saturday night, the Cougars are guaranteed a pool win with a tie against the Athletics which would put them into the playoffs. Otherwise, the Cats would need help from other round-robin action to earn one of three wildcard berths.
Faceoff between the Cougars and Athletics is set for 11:45am MT at the Flames Community Arena.